Sunday, October 16, 2005

It's Not Just Loyalty

Pundits and sundry other members of the chattering class have pointed to loyalty as the key to Bush's appointments (see, for example, Mike Brown, Harriet Miers et. al.). But what tends to get overlooked is Bush's worldview in general. Allow me, if you will, a bit of arm-chair psychology.

Bush was raised in a strata of society where one's connections matter more than one's credentials. He used this connections to avoid Vietnam, to run for Congress, to secure capital, to purchase the Texas Rangers, etc. Each of these episodes followed a previous failure. Aside from winning four elections, Bush really has not succeeded at anything.

In other words, Bush's entire worldview is shaped by cronyism, not meritocracy. That world has been very good to him, so why should he question it? It is far easier to surround oneself with mediocre sycophants with whom you share some sort of personal history than it is to seek out people who are at the top of their field with whom you share nothing more than a chromosome or two.


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